Surf City El Salvador 2019: A Celebration of Central American Surfing!

El Tunco recently hosted the Surf City ALAS Latin Pro Championship. Local photographer Gerardo Calderon was there to take some photos and offer us a brief recap. 

Photo by Gerardo Calderon

El Salvador is famous for its surf scene and nowhere encapsulates that scene more than El Tunco, one of the best surfing beaches in the region.

This month, from November 13-16, El Tunco hosted the Surf City ALAS Latin Pro Championship in four days of intense competition.

The waves left tourists and competitors with a pure sense of joy for discovering the El Tunco surf scene.

Surf City El Salvador attracted surfers from all over, but it highlighted the talent of Central America.                      

Indeed, Central American surfers ended up claiming the top prizes in the under-18, open-pro, and women’s open pro categories.

Photo by Gerardo Calderon

Some of the Central American surfers included Bryan Perez from El Salvador. Cedric McCrackin, Malakai Martinez, Anthony Fillingim, and Sam Reidy from Costa Rica also showed up. Sam Reidy ended up winning the Juniors with a performance showing a promising future.

Many surfers are already world-class and came with a lot of expectation, like local boy Byran Perez. He’s already gaining recognition after winning a medal in the 2010 Pan-American Games.

This time though, Costa Rican Noé McGonagle pipped Perez at the post in the finals. But it was great to have an Open-Pro final between two Central Americans.

The ladies did a great job too, exciting spectators with their tricks and turns. Local El Tunco chicas, in particular, proved that surfing isn’t just a boys sport.

It was great to see Central American surfers getting so much support. The love the received encouraged them to outperform themselves in the water. This showed in the results at the end.

Photo by Gerardo Calderon

In El Tunco, the weather in November is perfect for surfing and watching surfers.                                        

The region receives cold winds from the north that lowers the temperatures slightly. This means the beach was neither too hot nor too cold. It was perfect for enjoying the competition with a cold beer in hand!

Surf City is the latest project from the government to boost tourism in El Salvador.

It’s all about showing the world how things are changing in El Salvador, and how it’s a safe country to visit and invest in. Many people from the president himself to various ministers to local vendors played their part in Surf City’s success.

Throughout the competition, visitors felt the warmth typical to Salvadorians and Central Americans alike.

And it’s worth saying El Tunco is especially warm. It’s a great place to party, relax, or ride some awesome waves. Put on some sunblock, get in the water, and have an awesome time!

Competitions and events like Surf City ALAS Latin Pro are becoming common in El Salvador and on other Central American beaches.

Photo by Gerardo Calderon

As Central American tourism grows events like this will become more part of the norm throughout the region. So the next time you’re in El Salvador, or any other Central American country with world-class surfing, ask around if anything is going on.                                                                                                              

You might be lucky enough to get a front-row seat to watch the next generation of the best surfers in the world.

Gerardo Calderon is an amateur photographer based in El Salvador. Follow his work on Instagram and Facebook.